Thursday, April 29, 2010

In Which The Warlock Gets Dice-Whooped...

Fellow gamers, I am truly a creature of karma, particularly when it comes to dice.

Back at Wittenberg, when we were still clustered around 3e D&D, I played in a game run by a fellow named Silas. In that game, my scrawny level 1 psion was confronted with staggering odds for success....and succeeded...time after time after time. From sucking out the soul of a demigod at level 1, to dominating a massive half-giant and stealing his vampiric regeneration ring....that little bugger survived everything.

In WEGS, my Nordling series has caused El Willy no end of pain, surviving everything he and his crew have thrown at my Humnz Trickster horde. In a realm of odds and gods, Nordling and his decendents have made their way.

In my more recent games, my players and I have been referring to one of my dice as the "Black Die of Doom" for its player-killing power. The players know that "shit's gettin' real" once the BDoD comes out, because crits are just around the corner. (I suppose that it doesn't help their odds that the BDoD has a bubble in it, right around the '2', making that natural 20 come around all that more often!)

But last week? I got my dice handed to me on a platter, as the odds and gods came to take their revenge.

At last week's FOPCon 2010, I kept busy by demoing the WEGSventure that I'll be running this year at Origins: "WEGS Plume Mountain". WPM is a thematic rewrite of TSR's classic D&D dungeon crawl, "White Plume Mountain", with some WEGSified twists. As expected, the Arks were in search of the enigmatic trio of artifact weapons--the eponymous Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor.

The first session went fairly well--with 4 WEGS newbies around the table, they managed to find all three artifacts, but not confront the final, climactic encounter (which I built specially for this adventure!). The second session, though....that's where the the butt-whoopin' started.

With 5 players, including Jules and Ebbs, I had expected much the same session. I was deadly wrong.

The quintet headed after Whelm first, and I knew that the dice were not on my side when Ctenmiir, my Level 6/66 Vampire Warrior Master Minion, took a faceplant in the boiling mud surrounding his home. Two INI rolls of elemental wounds later, he staggered towards the PCs with only 2 chips of wounds to his name. His blood chip? A measly 1 on the d10 roll. Ouch.

Heading after Blackrazor next, the group outmaneuvered the Dun Djinn and his Astral Reavers quite handily. In a mere 6 innings, the group had defeated the group, pulling forth Blackrazor and a much higher Rank Bump than expected.

With the PCs gaining ground on me, I amped up the Wave room, transforming a lowly 6/66 Sage minion into a full fledged Master Minion, and added a few Rangers in for good measure. This, my lovelies, is where my dice turned on me.
The group's Warrior--a WEGS newbie whose dice had been hot all night long--succeeded on his Act Fast test, charging the Beast in the Boiling Bubble with his action. Caught off-guard, BiBBle failed his Invulnerability test (of course!), resulting in a massive hit, as the Warrior rolled a 6 on his Damage Die!

If that weren't bad enough by itself...the Warrior was wielding Blackrazor! It was soul-sucking time, and BiBBle didn't even make it through the first inning!

BiBBle's mistress, the Hag Countess, didn't make it much longer than him, going down to the Warrior's black blade at the top of inning 2. By the end of that inning, all that remained on my side of the battle-mat were my 6/66 Sage and a lowly 4/44 Ranger!

Suffice to say, the final encounter went much the same way, with my overpowered minions going down like punks. What's worse is that I can't even chalk this one up to experience--the newbies were doing the most damage across the board!

While I'm excited to see WPM get put through its paces, it appears that my continual dice-luck may finally be catching up with me. Here's for hoping that it will survive at least through my next D&D session!

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